Cheating at the Olympics Is at Epic Levels

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Holy crap. Drug testers have been hauling out old urine samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, and the results are devastating:

More than 75 athletes from those two Olympics have been found, upon further scrutiny, to be guilty of doping violations. The majority are from Russia and other Eastern European countries. At least 40 of them won medals. Disciplinary proceedings are continuing against other athletes, and the numbers are expected to climb.

….The Olympic committee announced penalties for 16 athletes last week and another 12 on Monday. Suddenly — and unceremoniously — some undecorated Olympians are inheriting medals for their performances eight years ago. Even sixth-place finishers who were far from the podium are now bronze medalists.

….Nearly all of the violations, across nationalities, were for the anabolic steroids Stanozolol or Turinabol, the very substances that notoriously fueled East Germany to global dominance in the 1970s and 80s. A rash of Turinabol violations have also recently cropped up in major and minor league baseball in the United States.

This sounds a lot like the covert help that Russia provided to Donald Trump during the election. Too bad there’s nobody around to take his medal away.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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